Dance Ensemble 2017

The Webster University Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts Department of Dance presents the Webster University Dance Ensemble 2017(WUDE), under the artistic direction of Beckah Reed. This year’s concert shares contemporary choreography from international artist Nejla Yatkin; environmental performer and alumna, Heather Sultz and a collaboration with the dancers of Big Muddy Dance Company, with choreographer Thom Dancy.  Webster's fine faculty round out the diverse program with aerial dance, ballet and a contemporary piece that explores some of the challenges of technology in 2017.


The Webster University Dance Ensemble performs on the Virginia Browning Mainstage of the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road on Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 2 pm only. Admission is $15 for the general public, and $7 for students and seniors. Contact the Fine Arts Hotline at 314-968-7128 for tickets, or for more information.


Artist Concepts


Thom Dancy, a performer with Big Muddy, has choreographed a work for the combined casts of Big Muddy Dance Company and Webster dancers that premiered in January of 2017 at the Sun Theatre.  This particular version of the work at Webster is edited, both in the storyline and casting. “The work, based on and using the podcast "The Apartment," is a study of the story inherent in the radio interview, breaking into dance when words are no longer sufficient to convey meaning,” says Thom.


Monica and Graciela Newsam co-choreographed A New World, which uses eight dancers, four trapezes, a lyra and several silks for the Webster performance, which is the last part of a longer aerial dance choreography named Mar de Zvr – Mito y Realidad, which premiered in Panama City, in the summer 2017. This one and a half hour choreography is inspired by the life of the Spanish conquistador Vasco Nuñez de Balboa. Balboa who is known for the discovery of the South Sea, today known as the Pacific Ocean, made the world acknowledge that earth was round. With his discovery a new era started, people from different cultures came to the new continent leaving the past and accepting the challenges of A New World.


The most recent co-production between Gramo Danse and NEWSAM AERIAL DANCE was the world premiere in August 2016 of Mar de Zvr – Mito y Realidad, an aerial and contemporary dance production which tells the fantastic story of Vasco Nunez de Balboa’s memorable journey across the Isthmus of Panama, culminating with the sighting of the Pacific Ocean.


Chair of the Department of Dance at Webster University, James Robey speaks of his 2017 premier, “I am fascinated with how technology and social media can both connect us in ways never before imagined and disconnect, fragment us. In Anechdoche, the dancers explore both sides of that aspect in a contemporary work that utilizes technology, explores virtuality, and searches for connection.”


Alumna Heather Sultz spent an intensive week in residency with Webster students, creating a group work poignant with the tones of the current climate of the United States, “An exploration of language as a bridge to connection, understanding, and community.”


Michael Uthoff describes his pas de deux for Webster University Dance Ensemble, “This work was conceived so as to use three works, independently choreographed, that somehow worked with the theme I was tackling and that musically and stylistically worked as a trio. The dances are named "Dances of Alone", not to be thought off as “dance of loneliness”. These are works of one and two people in quiet moments that permit them to be themselves. Enjoy!”


Nejla Yatkin in speaking of her premier work “Cotillion A”, states, “Cotillion is a social dance popular in 18th century Europe and America. Originally for four couples in square dance - it was a courtly version of an English country dance the forerunner of the quadrille and, in the United States, the square dance. It became so elaborate that it was sometimes presented as a concert dance performed by trained and rehearsed dancers. The later "German" cotillion included more couples as well as plays and games. But in my case I sort of envisioned a dance for our modern times and inspired by the idea of the Cotillion.”

Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 2:00pm

Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts
130 Edgar Road, 63119

Event Type

Art & Performances, Conservatory, Webster Presents, Student Recital


Departments, Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts


$15 for the general public, and $7 for students and seniors

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